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  • 15th June 2016

Foundation Expands Scholarship Program

The Charles Johnson Foundation has doubled its scholarship program from two to four $20,000 recipients,
who will be honored at the foundation’s Sports Academy this month. For the first time in its five year history, the
Charles Johnson Foundation announced four 2016 recipients of its $20,000 college scholarships, which are presented to high school seniors who show a dedication to academics and a commitment to athletics and teamwork. Prior
to this year, the foundation has awarded two $20,000 scholarships annually to two Hawkinsville High School seniors. The Charles Johnson Foundation expanded its gift to four seniors beginning this year.
The four 2016 recipients will be honored at the foundation’s 5th annual Sports Academy & Community Weekend on June
17 and 18 at Hawkinsville High School. The scholarship program began in 2012, with one male and one female
student-athlete from Hawkinsville High School receiving the awards. This year, it has been expanded to also include one male and one female studentathlete between Bleckley County High School and Wilcox County High School. The 2016 recipients make a total of 12 students that the foundation has supported through college. “This scholarship program
is very important to me,” said Charles Johnson, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers. “Since 2012, we’ve been presenting college scholarships in my hometown, and the students have gone on to do great things in college. I’m very proud to expand this program to two more seniors in Middle Georgia. Our recipients this year are great kids who really understand the value of hard work.” Each of the 2016 recipients is looking forward to an exciting journey through college:
Sylandi Brown Hawkinsville High School Valdosta State University
Brown plans to major in Middle Grades Education at Valdosta State University. In high school she earned varsity letters in tennis and cross country. She spent endless hours volunteering with organizations including the Reaching Excellence Amongst Children’s Hearts program, Pulaski County Middle School, and for the Charles Johnson Foundation’s Sports Academy & Community Weekend. Matthew Money Hawkinsville High School Armstrong Atlantic State
University Money will enter Armstrong Atlantic State University in the fall. At Hawkinsville High School,
he earned varsity letters in both football and baseball. He understands the importance of giving back to his community and neighbors, specifically through cleaning up pollution on the riverbank, helping his
teacher host a yard sale, and watching over his younger cousins in the summer.
Ana Claire Gordon Wilcox County High School Mercer University
Gordon will major in Sports Business Management at Mercer University in the fall. She earned varsity
letters as a member of the golf team, and as the football statistician/team manager in high school.
Gordon donated a lot of her time to volunteer work, including for the Wilcox County 4-H’s Summer Fun Days, the Wilcox Elementary School Volunteer for Literacy Nights, Jump Rope for Heart, and collecting money for Pennies
for Patients, which benefits Macon Children’s Hospital.
Taylor Harrell Bleckley County High School
University of Georgia Harrell will be the second scholarship recipient to attend Johnson’s former school, the University of Georgia. He plans to major in Civil Engineering. In high school, Harrell earned varsity letters in cross country and track and field. He has spent time volunteering at a running camp, where he helped
coach and mentor kids. He has also volunteered at the Middle School State Cross Country Championship. Each of the four recipients will attend the upcoming Sports Academy, where Johnson will honor them
during the Community Appreciation Picnic on Friday evening. Along with the past recipients, all scholarship
recipients return to Hawkinsville annually to help volunteer at the free of charge event. The foundation is
proud to keep this annual event free for its participants, and thanks its generous sponsors for their
support. Kids in 1st -12th grades can still register for clinics in football, basketball,
dance, tennis and cheer at
the Sports Academy &
Community Weekend by
registration will end on
June 12, and all other registration
must be done onsite
at the event. For media
requests or questions
about the foundation, contact
Meredith Geisler at
or (703) 740-5015.
Charles Johnson is a native
of Hawkinsville, GA, and a proud
alumnus of Hawkinsville High
School. After attending the University
of Georgia where he
starred at defensive end, Charles
was drafted by the Carolina Panthers
of the NFL in 2007 and has
served as a captain of the team
for three seasons.
Through nine professional
seasons, Charles has received AllPro
recognition on the strength
of 63.5 career sacks, placing him
among the premier pass-rushers
in the league. Charles ranks second
on the Panthers’ all-time
sacks list. He helped Carolina
win the NFC Championship and
earn a spot in the 2016 Super
In 2012, Charles’ passion
for philanthropy and loyalty to
Middle Georgia led him to launch
the Charles Johnson Foundation.
A non-profit organization, the
Charles Johnson Foundation is
dedicated to fulfilling a two-fold
Providing opportunities for
under-served youth to reach
their full potential through athletic,
recreational, and educational
programs and initiatives;
Providing support for single
African American mothers
through proven programs and
The Charles Johnson Foundation
Sports Academy & Community
Weekend is the flagship
annual event for the Charles
Johnson Foundation, combining
his efforts to advance education
with free sports clinics in football,
basketball, tennis, dance
and cheer.

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Meredith Geisler
Tandem Sports + Entertainment, LLC
(703) 740-5015
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